get my hens on saturday

Discussion in 'Managing Your Flock' started by tav1, Dec 25, 2014.

  1. tav1

    tav1 Songster

    Nov 4, 2014
    Saturday were picking up (3)... year old hens [​IMG]. so far there's pine shavings down in the coop ,I put a tot cover down for the roost droppings
    , 1 nest box and a bag of layer food and as for the run I have a hanging feeder .....and the waterer doesn't hang so should I raise it
    off the ground with something ?
    Last edited: Dec 25, 2014
  2. arialp

    arialp Chirping

    Mar 29, 2014
    Hendersonville, TN
    Merry Christmas!

    And yes. You can take some bricks and place them underneath the water. That way the water stays cleaner a little longer. Grass, leaves, and other things on the ground could get tossed in there when the hens scratch around. Good luck with your new hens!
  3. Great! You might want to raise the waterer a bit so they don't scratch it full of dirt. Otherwise it sounds like you are ready for an egg laying adventure. Don't expect them to begin to lay right away though. It is winter and they will have to adjust to the move stress and new environment. But, it does sound like you are ready to go.

    You will know when they begin to lay but you might want to have a little oyster shell available for them as a calcium supplement. Also, depending on your soil and how much free ranging they will be doing, you might want a dish of chicken grit available as well.
  4. tav1

    tav1 Songster

    Nov 4, 2014
    No free range , I have a inclose run. I'll have to get some shell and grit.

    But what does those 2 do for them health wise? And how much to put out?

    Can you mix the shell and grit together or in separate bowls.
  5. The oyster shell supplements their calcium for bone health and strong egg shells. I just don't trust feed manufacturers to put enough in their layer feed. I put out both shell and grit in seperate dishes and they consume both. They will eat what they need, surprising that they know what they need but they do. I free range and they get a lot of grit that way from the dirt but they also eat a little. Grit is used by them to grind up food they eat since they do not have teeth.

    So, just a little in dishes free choice. They will take care of the rest.
  6. pdirt

    pdirt Songster

    May 11, 2013
    Eastern WA
    If they all don't start laying in about 3 weeks, I would stop feeding layer and just feed a grower or all-flock feed. If you do this, you must offer additional calcium (like oyster shell) and they will eat the calcium as they need. Feeding layer feed to non laying birds is not good for them. If you haven't opened the layer feed yet, you might even consider just returning it for a grower feed. We never feed layer feed anymore, because at no point are all of our hens laying, plus we have roosters.

    There are folks who will tell you this advice is unnecessary, but IMO, if you want the best for your birds, don't take shortcuts. Layer feed is a convenience for the humans, and offer no benefit and possible harm to non laying birds.
    1 person likes this.
  7. pdirt, that is actually really good advice. why feed your birds feed that is formulated to produce strong eggs when that is a natural occurrence in your birds if they are fed a healthy diet with access to calcium (oyster shell) when they need it. they are amazing animals that are fully in tune to their own nutritional needs.

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